tv The Ed Show MSNBC January 14, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
there. it is just very, very frustrating wh frustrating when i'm seeing what happens in the house. why is it other places that had natural disasters, the country united. and new jersey, which by the way sends much more money to the federal government than it gets back, we just want them to be more urgent, and concerned. families that lost their houses, blocks that were destroyed. it is ridiculous that we're still debating this, especially looking at some of the congress people who are doing this. in my opinion, it is shameless, when their states were not seeing the same set of crises, they were the first to ask for resources. they should pull together, stand up, do the right thing. to me right now, at the end of a very long day i'm frustrated. i'm angry, we should all stand up for each other in times of crisis. this is so un-american in my opinion. >> newark's mayor, cory booker,
gets tonight's last word. >> thank you. >> "the ed show" is up next. good evening americans and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. the gop is still holding the american economy hostage, and president obama says they wouldn't collect a ransom. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> the issue here is whether or not america pays its bills. we are not a dead beat nation. >> the president draws a line in the sand for republicans. >> they will not collect a rans ranson in exchange for the economy. >> on whether republicans will actually listen. one month after sandy hook, the president says he has the vice president's gun recommendations. >> my starting point is not to worry about the politics. >> but will spineless republicans kill reform?
one republican threatens impeachment if the president signs an executive order on guns. dan gross of the grady campaign is here regarding comments that the nra is gearing up to sell guns. and former secretary of state colin powell calls out republicans on race. >> there is also a dark vein of intolerance. >> dr. peterson joins me to discuss the republican response. good to have you with us tonight, folks, thank you for joining us. president obama took on the single greatest threat to the economy today, the republican party. the president used the conference in his first term to throw down the gauntlet, and after confusion, president obama set the record straight on the debt ceiling. >> now the other imposition is called the debt ceiling. something most americans had not heard of before two years ago. so i want to be clear about
this. the debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. it simply allows the country to pay for spending that congress has already committed to. >> and of course republicans tried to trick americans into believing the debt ceiling was a blank check or magic credit card for the president to go spend whatever he wanted to spend. of course, the united states constitution gives the power to spend to congress. the result is the money congress has already borrowed. president obama explained to the american people in congress how they're trying to do their actual jobs. >> these are bills that are racked up. and we need to pay them. so while i'm we'illing to find
compromise on how to pay our debts, americans should not be stopped from paying the bills we racked up. >> the country will be in a dire situation. president obama knows this. he proved it before, and he is not going to play games with economic stability. >> so we have to pay our bills. and republicans in congress have two choices here, they can act responsibly and pay america's bills. or they can act irresponsibly and put america through another economic crisis. but they will not collect a ransom in exchange for crashing the american economy. the financial well being of the american people is not leverage to be used. the full faith and credit of the united states of america is not a bargaining chip. and they had better choose quickly, because time is running short. >> the president, simple and
direct, everybody on the same page now? naturally the republican leaders decided to confuse and distract one more time. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell decided to link the debt to spending, saying the president and his allies need to get serious about spending, the debate is the perfect time for it. house speaker john boehner also ignored the obligation to pay the billings and complained about spending. the american people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government ceiling at the same time. they speak so confident, don't they? it is almost as if they forget about the spending cuts the president already gave them over a year ago. let's try to help them figure it out a little bit with visual and audio assistance. >> i signed into law $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. two week ago, i signed a bill into law regarding revenue, by making sure the wealthiest
americans begin to pay their fair share. when you add the money and the interest payments on the debt, that adds up to about $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the past two years, not counting the $400 billion saved from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan. so we have made progress. >> didn't president clinton say it was all about math? republicans can >> they know the truth. listen to john boehner two years ago. >> do you agree that defaulting on the full faith and credit of the united states would be a financial disaster? >> that would be a financial disaster for our country and the worldwide country. >> oh, financial disaster. apparently this is not a game. timothy geithner says that we will hit the debt limit between mid february and early march. the financial security of millions of americans is at
stake. >> if congressional republicans refuse to pay america's bills on time, social security checks and veterans benefits will be delayed. we might not be able to pay our troops or honor or contracts. food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists wouldn't get paychecks. investors around the world will ask the united states of america is in fact a safe bet. every homeowner, every small business owner who wants to grow and hire. it would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy. it would slow down our growth. it might tip us into recession. and ironically, would probably increase our deficit. so to even entertain the idea of
this happening, of the united states of america not paying its bills is irresponsible. it's absurd. >> if the country defaults on its debt, republicans will take the blame for the damage, as president obama pointed out, the country is required by law to pay for what congress spends. >> congress authorizes spending. they order me to spend. they tell me you need to fund our defense department at such and such a level. you need to send out social security checks. you need to make sure that your paying to care for our veterans. they lay all this out for me. because they have the spending power. and so i am required by law to go ahead and pay these bills. >> many republicans are willing to just let it all burn to the ground. politico reported more and more house republicans are planning to damage the economy.
gop officials said more than half of their members are prepared to allow default unless president obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes. john boehner does not have any clout with the tea party members of the congress. this is the big problem. here comes congressman ralph hall of texas. he's got a rather radical view of what it means to raise the debt ceiling. >> we made a mistake when we increased the debt limit the first time and gave this guy all the money to buy votes with. we shouldn't make the mistake now. >> this thinking is not only inaccurate but dangerous. >> this is a guy walking into a crowded room and saying i have a bomb strapped to my chest. and if you don't give me what i want, i'm going to blow up everybody, including myself. is that a credible threat? well, there are some pretty crazy people there. it might be that they're willing to do it. but by the same token, obama cannot give into this.
>> fortunately, president obama showed no signs of giving in today. >> what i will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the american people. the threat that unless we get our way, unless you gut medicare or medicaid, or otherwise slash things that the american people don't believe should be slashed, that we're going to threaten to wreck the entire economy. >> or to put it more simply. >> the issue here is whether or not america pays its bills. we are not a deadbeat nation. >> republicans, oh, they love to talk about american exceptionalism. how exceptional would you be if you didn't pay your bills? now they are prepared to diminish our standing in the world over some radical ideology because they can't get to the big three through this process. president obama dared them to
follow through on their threats. we'll find out who blinks first. get your cell phones out. we want to know what you think. tonight's question, will republicans lead our country into another recession by refusing to act on the debt ceiling? text a for yes. text b for no to 622639. we'll bring you the results later on. you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. joining me tonight is congressman jim mcdermott of washington, who has been in the chamber for quite a while and has seen a lot. he sits on the ways and means committee. congressman, good to have you with us tonight. do you think republicans will follow through on their threat to take the country into default? i mean, the president spent a hot of time today educating the american people and cutting to the chase and being brilliant on the basics about what the ramifications would be. your thoughts. >> my thought is that they seem to be this time headed for a real trauma. i voted no on the last bailout a couple of weeks ago because i
knew that the real fight was going to come on this debt ceiling. and they think that this is the way. now, it's like handing the keys to a john deere tractor to a 6-year-old and let him try and drive it. these guys, they have no idea what they're doing to the economy. and they will wreck it because they think that that way they'll get their way on some other things. it is simply -- you can't -- if the facts made any difference, the president would win the day totally. but the facts don't -- it doesn't make them move at all. they simply believe that if they are tough enough and bring enough chaos, they will get what they want. and they don't understand what they're asking for. it is really scary to me. >> well, it's scary to a lot of americans, because it will hurt a lot of people. but why would they do this? do they want the big three that bad? do they want sequestration that bad? do they really want these cuts
to hit? because if you look at the cuts, if we go down that road, it's going to hit the pentagon pretty hard. and that's, of course, their core. they don't want to let that go. >> they want to make the president look like he can't run the country. that's what the bottom line here is. nobody wants to say that. but that's what it's about. if they were serious about medicare, if they were serious about medicaid, if they were serious about defense, they could sit down and have the regular order in the congress and have committee hearings, and actually make some sensible cuts. every one of us knows there are sensible ways to deal with the deficit and the debt of this country. but you do not get it by threatening people to burn the house down as a way of making them come to the table. that simply won't work. >> are you confident president obama will stick to his guns? >> i am. >> this is it. you are? >> i'm absolutely -- he's been burned by these guys enough times. it's like going to the county or
like charlie brown and lucy and the football. he's said i'm going to kick the football and lucy keeps jerking the ball away. the republicans have jerked the ball away from him again and again. this time he is not going to do it. he is much smarter now than he was two years ago. >> what about harry reid over the weekend and some senate democrats who communicated with the white house on friday, saying do what you have to do. what is your response to that? >> well, my belief is that the president should use every power that is vested in him by the constitution. and i personally think that there are ways in which he can say i am going to maintain the credit of this country. i'm going to borrow the money. if they want to fight me over it, then go to the supreme court and fight it out there. i don't think the president can be responsible and let this country go into the tank when you've got the whole economy of the world in very shaky shape today. you can't -- you're not playing
with little stuff here. you're playing with the whole world economy. and i think the president knows that. and he will do what he has to do. >> congressman jim mcdermott, good to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." thank you so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts with us on twitter at edshow and facebook. of course, we always want to know what you think. coming up, president obama put a human face on the people who will be hurt most by radical republicans. e.j. dionne and ruth conniff join me to explain what will happen if we go into default. ro. like oven-roasted chicken in a creamy alfredo sauce. marie callender's new comfort bakes. it's time to savor. marie callender's new comfort bakes. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance,
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members of congress are already knocking down the president's gun legislation. they don't even know what is in it. they have no clue. that's what burns me is that when lawmakers go out and say we don't have the votes. you don't even know what it is. let's continue the discussion. dan gross of the brady campaign on that, and the ginned up fear from the right wing on firearms in this country.
later, former secretary of state colin powell calls out the radical intolerance of the republican party. dr. james peterson weighs in on those comments. don't forget you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 127 monday through friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. we are coming right back. gray, but kate -- still looks like...kate. nice'n easy with colorblend technology gives expert highlights and lowlights. for color that's true to you. i don't know how she does it. with nice'n easy, all they see is you. with nice'n easy, we replaced people with a machine.r, what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello?
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depends on who you are talking about. radical republican lawmakers are ready to really trample all over american citizens in order just to get what they want. the republican crusade on the debt ceiling will harm all of these folks. let's go through them tonight. anyone on social security. that means if you're on social security and you live on that fixed income, you won't get the check. how about veterans. i thought -- you know, this is what confuses me. veterans and troops. i always thought the republicans supported the troops. remember those signs "we support the troops"? maybe not anymore. if you're a business owner, the government may default on your loan. that's right. right here. you need that money to continue to meet payroll. of course, that will certainly hurt employment in this country. and that's really what the republicans like. do you have a mortgage? oh, yeah, your rate could go through the roof, depending on how the concentration of wealth in this country is with the five
banks that control most of the money. what do you think they're going to do? and if you have a student loan, got to pick on the students too. if you're a student loan recipient, real good chance you're going to be paying more. people who keep us safe every day will not get a paycheck. like food inspectors, air traffic controllers, workers, you know, nuclear management professionals. ah, that's not that important, is it? anyone invested in the stock market. is your 401(k) right here? is your retirement here? is your kids' education right there, your college fund, your pension? yeah, the global markets will also take a nosedive. you can count on it. the radical behavior will not just be for americans, but the american people do not send elected officials to washington to do this kind of harm. is this why you sent your elected official to go to washington to allow something like this to happen? and i'm asking republicans tonight.
is this really what you want the country to do? look. the bottom line is this. we're at a crossroads in america. the right wing wants the big three so bad, this is the conversation they're willing to have. and this may be the direction they're willing to go to make sure that they can get the cuts they want, because they want that government cut right down into the bathtub. i'm joined tonight by msnbc contributor and "washington post" columnist e.j. dionne, and ruth conniff, political editor of the progressive magazine. great to have both of you with us tonight. e.j., you first. who would get hit the hardest? i mean, if we were not to pay our bills, who gets hit the hardest and the soonest, actually? sooner than anybody else? >> i'm glad what you did what you just did, because i think one of the problems with this debt ceiling fight is that it's such a ridiculous idea on its face that congress has to vote
again to say we'll pay our bills, that most americans figure it must be more spending. and it isn't. so it's really good that president obama went out there today and is continuing to hit at this and say this is not about more spending. it's about saying we're going to pay our bills. and because no congress has ever been crazy enough to do something like this, to say we won't increase the debt ceiling, we don't fully know what the damage is. you're right in that list. if the government can't pay its bills, all those people get hurt. but on top of that and what is most damaging to most americans, especially people out of work is the damage this will do to the american and the global economy. the rest of the world is counting on our economy right now to keep growing so the world economy can keep growing. when newt gingrich says this is a bad idea to use -- hold the country hostage to the debt ceiling, when newt gingrich looks like a moderate and a statesman, i think the
republicans ought to rethink their strategy. >> ruth, how badly would this damage the economic recovery? i think it would totally wipe it out. it would probably bring from what i could see unemployment to levels that we haven't seen even back when we had the economic problems in the start of 2009. it would be worse than that. what do you think? >> it would be a complete disaster. and both sides have acknowledged that, that i think the president put it really well today when he said that the republicans are essentially saying if we don't get 100% of what we want, we're going to blow up the economy. and nobody doubts that it would blow up the economy. but also what they're pushing for is deep cuts that will hurt that very same list of people you started the segment with. they want cuts to social security, to medicare, to veterans benefits, to unemployment, and to help for the hungry. and i think the context that we need to see this in as we hope as progressives to shore up the president's commitment to say no to those damaging cuts in exchange for not blowing up the
whole economy is that the deficit as a percentage of gdp has been on the decline. the whole focus on deficit and debt is misplaced in a fragile economic situation, in a place where as bernie sanders has put it on this show so effectively, we're looking at 15% real unemployment. we're looking at people who are really living on the edge. why on earth are we putting these priorities in the order we're putting them, protecting the wealthy, protecting the lowest corporate tax rates since the 1970s and looking at deep cuts that are going to hurt these people. so i hope, and i think there is some sign today that the president is talking about really holding the line on that. >> well, i think the president is going to hold the line. he was pretty strong about that today. gop pollster frank luntz was asked on fox news the republican failure to win over americans with their rhetoric on spending. here it is. >> do you believe the error is smaller government, the adjustment should be more effective and efficient government. why are those words so important?
>> because the american people don't care what the size of government. they do care what types of services government gives. and quite frankly, how much government takes. >> and also, whether the government pays its bills or not. but e.j., this is all in the arena of the republican mantra that they want to make sure that they drive home to the american people that government doesn't do anything well, that we must privatize almost everything we can get our hands on. isn't that really what it's about? >> well, you know, somebody tweeted today, i have forgotten who it was, that president obama talked today as if he just won an election. and guess what? this issue was on the table. and the american people decided no, they don't believe, we don't believe as a people that all government is useless. we expect a lot of things of government. and i actually thought that little segment you showed from frank luntz is very revealing, because republicans for years have thought that saying the word "small government" was the
popular way to go. and the fact that frank luntz, their favorite language maven is telling them they shouldn't use small government anymore i think tells us a lot about the shift in public dialogue in the fact that the american people are saying we don't want this way of talking about government anymore. >> ruth conniff, speaker boehner is at the mercy of the extremists in his own party who seem willing to throw the country into chaos. do you believe, or do you think that boehner would put his leadership position at risk to prevent this? i mean, when i say leadership, we're to the point where they actually pay attention to what the guy says. i mean, is he reaching that level of irrelevance? >> yeah. i think e.j. is right. the majority of the people in the country have weighed in on this fundamental idealogical issue. the problem is the republicans, after redistricting, a lot of them are sitting in safe seats where they're more worried about a primary challenge from a far right republican than they are
about being in sync with the american people. that's the real problem we face. they are so clearly completely out of step with where most americans are. >> e.j. dionne, ruth conniff, great to have you with us. thank you for being on the "ed show" tonight. coming up, reasonable gun measures and the do nothing congress. we'll call out the representatives who say they won't pass a law to protect america's school children. and today president obama spoke out about the fearmongering by opponents of any new gun measures. dan gross of the brady campaign will join me. stay with us. we're right back. [ dad ] find it?
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thanks for staying with us tonight. today marks the one month anniversary since a gunman murdered 20 first graders and six adults at sandy hook elementary school. now in the past month, here is what we have gone through. gun sales have absolutely skyrocketed. the nra has refused to compromise. the vice president of the united states has conducted a wide ranging search for solutions. today president obama renewed his call for common sense gun measures. >> are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in newtown can't walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children in a shockingly rapid fashion? and surely we can do something about that.
>> the president mentioned the need for stronger background checks. he wants to regulate high capacity clips. he is calling for a meaningful assault weapons ban. vice president joe biden, he met with him today, also with the house democrats to get their input. but other congressional members say they don't believe any gun control bill will pass. really? senators kelly ayotte, also chuck grassley and angus king all say they're just willing to listen. and representative phil gingrey of georgia agrees. now, these are the people who get to vote on any kind of gun measure. but they're just waiting around, waiting to be impressed i guess with what somebody is going to show up with. senator john mccain took it a step further, saying congress should not and will not vote on an assault weapons ban. isn't that encouraging? he thinks it's just not going to happen. so why go ahead and bother. you mean to tell me we can't even go back to where we were? senator joe manchin of west virginia went on cnn to talk
about bipartisanship yesterday. he ended up taking a totally partisan stance on an assault weapons ban. >> just get a yes or no possibly. an assault weapons stand alone ban. >> a assault weapons ban, on just guns alone will not in the political reality that we have today will not go anywhere. it has to be comprehensive, candy. >> let's have an up or down vote on that. i'm not so sure about that. senator manchin is shutting down the debate before it's even started. it looks like congress might not have the courage to act on anything. so today the president talked about his alternatives. >> i'm confident that there are some steps we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president. >> and here is the level headed and bipartisan response. representative steve stockman is threatening to impeach the president of the united states if there is any new gun control laws out there. his official website says "come
and take it," meaning his guns. senator rand paul made the same threat. >> but one that wants to infringe on the second amendment we will fight tooth and nail. and i promise you, there will be no rock left unturned used to stop him from usurping the constitution. >> these people are freaking out about a law already passed. congress approved the assault weapons ban in 19934. the world did not come to an end, and the second amendment is still alive and survived through it all. here we are exactly one month since the latest mass shooting, 20 young children dead, six staffers and adults are gone. and congressional members are already saying no to meaningful change. they predict that there just aren't enough votes for anything. today for the first time, the parents of those 6, 7, and 8-year-old kids spoke publicly about what they want congress to do. >> things must change. this is the time. >> doing nothing is no longer an option.
we have let this happen too many times. if we want real change we have to think. we have to talk, and we have to act differently. >> i would respectfully request that every parent in this country who hears these words simply pause for a moment and think. ask yourself what is it worth doing to keep your children safe? >> don't you think this subject is a lot deeper than maybe the people of west virginia or the people of north dakota or south dakota? do you think there are pockets in this country that should rule exactly how the senate votes on this? where is the moral obligation to do something about gun violence in this country? doing nothing is not an option anymore. those parents want all of us to make meaningful change. no more politics.
congress needs to find the courage and to get it done. and the spineless thing to do is to run around on talking head shows saying we don't have the votes. get 'em. coming up, gun owning radicals are drumming up the fear and turning a profit at the same time. the president confronted the problem today. we'll confront the fear tactics, next. >> it obviously is good for business. >> the president calls out the nra for scaring up gun sales. >> ginning up fear. >> dan gross of the brady campaign reacts, next. the beltway media blames washington gridlock on a lack of partying. >> you and your staff are too insular. you don't socialize enough. >> i'll set the record straight tonight. and former secretary of state colin powell doesn't mince words on the racist strain in
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economic element to that. it obviously is good for business. >> the president nailed it. he knows any new legislation is going to be a tough sell. >> even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow here it comes. and that everybody's guns are going to be taken away. >> fans the emotions. i mean, we've seen extremists come it of the woodwork over the past few weeks. but the so-called leadership at the nra bears i think a lot of responsibility. here is nra vice president wayne lapierre in february. >> all that first term lip service to gunowners is just part of a massive obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the second amendment during his second term. >> let's turn to dan gross, president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. dan, good to have you with us.
>> good to be here. >> the rhetoric, it is absolutely wild on the right side. and the president addressed that today. i was rather surprised that he went so far as to say that there are people out there that are going so far as to say this is a total attack on the second amendment. how correct is he? how spot-on is the president with this whole conversation? >> 100% spot-on. i mean, it's the strategy of the gun lobby to drum up fear, to perpetuate the fact that this is a debate that doesn't exist in mainstream america there is an extraordinary disconnect between what the american public wants, what the american supports, things like universal background checks that are supported by 74% of nra members, 82% of gunowners, because they know that this has nothing to do with the second amendment. but yet the gun lobby says that, you know, we're coming for your guns. we want to take away the second amendment. and you know, the motivation at the end of the day, like the
president points out is an economic one. >> what do you say to these lawmakers who are running around on shows saying that they don't have the votes? >> yeah. >> i mean, how do they know? >> yeah. >> doesn't that somewhat -- aren't they just covering their political backsides? >> i would take a step back, look at sandy hook. every day in our country, 32 people are murdered with guns. 90 die. to just dismiss the exploration of solutions because for political reasons that the votes aren't there is shameful. and it also doesn't represent even in rural america, even in red states what the overwhelming majority of gunowners and nra members even think. >> so you're disturbed by lawmakers who were drawing conclusions what will pass and what won't pass? >> yeah, before the facts are there. before we have the opportunity to demonstrate. there are things that we can do respectful of the second amendment to prevent tragedies. everybody, gun owners and nra members are mothers and fathers and decent americans. and we all just want to live in a safer nation. i would contest that any
lawmaker that is patently dismissing any exploration of the solutions is doing a disservice to their constituents. >> if i heard it once, i heard it ten times over the weekend. first we get their resume. we've all owned firearms. we all go hunting. my whole family does it. and i've said that on this program too. but it's almost like it's political cover for them like don't attack me, nra, you extremists out there. i'm a good guy. and by the way, we don't have the votes. it's like code. >> right. we need to change that equation. the only way we can change that equation is by making the voice of the american public heard. i would turn to every person watching this show, every person who is watching every other network, which is what we plan to do when the recommendations are announced. make your voice heard with your congress people in support of these solutions. let them know that there is an extraordinary disconnect between what they're doing, taking the party line of the leadership of the nra and people are dying every day. >> what is in the recommendations? what can you tell us? >> i can tell you what the administration has said publicly.
i can tell you what they communicated to us in this meeting, which is, you know, that they're committed to listening to the american public. >> will it make any difference? >> undoubtedly you. look at something like background checks, which will be in there. every day in our nation, 40% of all gun sales don't require background checks, which means convicted felons, dangerously mentally ill are buying guns. >> you know what is in there, but you don't want to tell us tonight because tomorrow it's going to be announced. but you think what is in there is going to make a difference? >> i've heard what they announced is the consensus. and it will make a huge difference. and i would start with background checks in terms of the big opportunity to make a difference. but all these other proposals will as well. >> okay, dan gross, thanks for coming in tonight. >> thanks, ed. >> i appreciate it. the media are criticizing president obama for not socializing enough. but the gridlock in washington has nothing to do with tee times. stay tuned. if there was a pill
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well, it's the media elites at work. the washington, d.c. media has ramped up their long-standing criticism of president obama for not socializing with republicans. at his press conference today, the president was actually asked about being too insular and not socializing enough. here is part of his response. >> most people who know me know i'm a pretty friendly guy. and i like a good party. you know, if you think about, let's say, myself and speaker boehner, i like speaker boehner personally. and when we went out and played golf, we had a great time. but that didn't get a deal done in 2011. >> the president's social schedule is actually part of the national discussion going on in washington, d.c. today.
very important, huh? there is a whole list of serious issues facing this country right now like, you know, jobs, unemployment, the debt ceiling, maybe the war in afghanistan maybe the war in afghanistan could have gotten a word today, or a question are we really getting out. in the d.c. media they're concerned about who is at what cocktail party and what everybody is wearing and how come you're not talking to more people. meanwhile, the president said he puts out invitations to the white house all the time. >> we invite folks from congress over here all the time. sometimes they don't choose to come, and that has to do with the fact that i think they don't consider the optics useful for them politically. >> ah-ha. you can't get your picture taken with the president. that's not good. boehner has turned down invitations to five state dinners in a row. mitch mcconnell and three other republican senators turned down an invitation just to watch the movie "lincoln" over at the white house. it might have embarrassed them a little bit. these snubs are nothing new from republicans.
it's dangerous politically for republicans to be seen at the white house. and there is always a tea party candidate close by, waiting to primary anybody who works with this president. the problem is in washington it's not a lack of dinners or parties. the problem is the fringe republican party who refuses to work with this president and obstruct everything. and it just might look bad at home, you know. tonight in our survey, i asked you, will republicans lead our country into another recession by refusing to acton debt court of appealing? 89% of you say yes. 11% of you say no. next, it's a real wake-up call for the republican party. but it's not a wake-up call if nobody answers to the call, if you know what i mean. colin powell says that the gop has an identity crisis, identity problem, and they need to do something about it. will the republican party heed the warning? stay with us.
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press" to express his support for president obama's nominee for defense secretary chuck hagel. powell used the appearance to call out the gop's race baiters, the sarah palins and the john sununus of the party and asked leaders to put an end to the racist talk. >> there is also a dark -- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. what do i mean by that? what i mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. how can i evidence that? when i see a former governor say that the president is shucking and jiving. that's a racial era slave term. when i see another former governor after the president's first debate where he didn't do very well says that the president was lazy. he didn't say he was slow, he was tired, he didn't do well. he was lazy. now it may not mean anything to most americans, but to those of us who are african-americans,
the second word is shiftless, and then there is a third word that goes along with it. birther, the whole birther movement. why do senior republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party? >> i'm joined tonight be dr. james peterson, director of africana studies and professor at lehigh university. professor, i was sitting home yesterday watching this, and i thought you know what? he is doing the republicans a huge favor. who else can tell it like it is from that position of credibility and impact. >> no doubt, ed, he really is. and you on this show, and i've been on this show talking about these things throughout the entire presidential election season. we document and wrote about it and spoke about it on tv, each one of these incidents. but to come from general powell and republicans to hear, minorities are no longer the minority anymore. the coalition of these voters that we're talking about is actually becoming the majority here. so hopefully the republican party will heed general powell's words. >> so do you expect any change
at all? polls show that minorities would be open to voting republican if the party moderated, you know, became moderate on some policy positions. what is holding him back? >> what is holding them back is the tea party caucus in the congress. it's also their affection for some of these sort of really extreme right wing media leaders, folk like rush limbaugh and glenn beck and what sarah palin has tried to become over the past couple of years. folk like that in conjunction with the policy folks who are obstructionists in the congress have put them in this sort of separated and stratified position. >> here is what the general had to say, former secretary of state, here is what he had to say about voter id laws. >> when we see that in one more generation the minorities of america, african-americans, hispanic americans and asian americans will be the majority of the country, you can't go around saying we don't want to have a solid immigration policy.